Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Video Free Silver Lake: The Spinto Band and Earlimart

Here's a preview of what you might see if you go to The Troubadour on Sunday night to see The Spinto Band, Dio Malos, and The Changes: A buncha twenty-year-old guys karate kicking a giant cardboard robot.

Okay. Not really. But it's still worth watching because the clip hearkens back to the days when videos, like, told stories.

And here's an old video for the song Burning The Cow off of Earlimart's first full-length, Everyone Down Here.

There's a filthy rumor going around town that they'll be the surprise opener for Sea Wolf and Clinic at the Friday show at The Troubadour. I can't make that, so I'm glad I've got my tickets already for when they appear (w/ strings!) at The Getty next Friday.

What I've heard of their new album left me about 60% pregnant...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Releases Tuesday - 2/27

DeannbrittaA little calm before the storm this week as we await some hugely anticipated records from the likes of !!!, Arcade Fire, Air, RJD2 and The Stooges next Tuesday. However, all is not lost, as this slow release day gives me even more of an excuse to hype up the latest relase from personal favorites of mine, Dean & Britta. Former Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman Dean Wareham just keeps on brilliantly reinventing himself, and his former Luna co-hort turned wife Britta Phillips has become the perfect Bardot-like muse to Dean's mellow Gainsbourg-like baroque pop stylings.

Download: Dean and Britta - "Words You Used To Say"

if Dean & Britta aren't your cup of tea, here's the rest of this week's short list...

The Feeling - Twelve Stops and Home
Dalek - Abandoned Language

Dr. Dog - We All Belong
4Hero - Play the Changes (domestic release)

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Monday Show Low Down (Or “Insert Flippant Comment Concerning Recent Tragedy”)

You know, catching The Afternoons – the new side-project from several members of Irving – at El Cid last Friday was nothing less than fantastic. You know that a band’s onto something when they get the crowd dancing the first night they ever play out. That was some damn good indie pop there…

It reminds me of a discussion I had with Octavius on KXLU 88.9’s Demo Listen show earlier that night: I’d been considering splitting town, but I just can’t leave LA. The music scene is too good here right now. I mean, I’m blown away by some band’s live performance at least once a week these days.

Por ejemplo, just look at how this week’s shaping up:

- The Movies, The Happy Hollows, Rademacher, & Tigers Can Bite You @ The Viper Room
- Simon Dawes, Sabrosa Purr, & The Intervals @ The Echo
- Eastern Conference Champions & I Make This Sound @ The Silver Lake Lounge (Free)
- Division Day, Peter Walker, Canon, & Love of Diagrams @ Spaceland (Free)

I’m a big fan of The Movies, The Happy Hollows, Rademacher, and Tigers Can Bite You’s live performances, separately -- but all four bands playing together at one show? It’s like they’ve combined to form some unstoppable Transformers/Voltron indie rock robot that’s demanding your presence on, gasp, The Sunset Strip tonight.

(You might still be able to get on the unlimited free guest list by emailing your first and last name w/ a subject header of “Viper Room” to

- Foreign Born, Molecules, & The Hectors @ Boardner’s of Hollywood
- Death to Anders, The Henry Clay People, Downtown/Union, & Unbusted @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- In Waves, Black Palms, & Mezzanine Owls @ El Cid
- Corazon County, The Curbhounds, Dime Box Band, & Good Ol’ Country Railroad @ Molly Malone’s
- Nels Cline & Glenn Kotche (From Wilco) @ The Echo

Well, it’s probably no surprise that I’ll be attending the show that we’re putting on at Boardner’s of Hollywood with Foreign Born, The Hectors, and Molecules. And you should too because it will be more fun than fun has ever been before. (I’ve also just gotten Foreign Born’s new album and dub it “ossum.”)

- French Kicks & Scissors For Lefty @ The Troubadour
- Castaneda @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Nightfur, The Karabal Nightlife, & Rocking Horse People @ Zen Sushi (Free)
- Astra Heights, War Tapes, & Buffalo Roam @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Idyllists @ Club Moscow at Boardner’s of Hollywood

I think I’m going to check out this show over at The Troubadour that Rock Insider is putting on with NYC’s French Kicks and SF’s Scissors For Lefty.

- Josh Ritter & The Submarines @ El Rey

Based on my half-hearted research, this appears to be the only show going on this night… but catching The Submarines at The El Rey seems like a pretty nice proposition.

- Bodies of Water & The Spires @ The Echo
- Kind Hearts and Coronets @ The Refugee
- Sincere Parody @ Tangier
- Ghostland Observatory & Matmos @ The Natural History Museum
- Alexi Murdoch & Midnight Movies @ El Rey
- Clinic & Sea Wolf @ The Troubadour
- Snow Patrol, The Silversun Pickups, & OK Go @ The Gibson Ampitheatre

People really seem to think very highly of UK act Clinic and I think very highly of local indie folk act Sea Wolf (and the secret surprise opener), but I have plans to see Ventura’s rad sad/happy/sad pop band The Spires with Bodies of Water at The Echo.

(And wow. Silversun Pickups at The Gibson Ampitheatre. Good to see local kids make good like that.)

- Snow Patrol (Acoustic) @ The Troubadour
- The Annuals & Aqueduct @ Spaceland
- Moving To France & The Cheat @ The Roxy
- Weird Science, Har Mar Superstar, Some Girls, & The Willowz @ The El Rey

I've been meaning to check out Moving To France live.

- Teddy's Cheer Club, The Swallows, & Squab @ Mr. T's Bowl
- The Spinto Band, The Changes, & Dios Malos @ The Troubadour
- Brightblack Morning Light @ McCabe’s
- The Henry Clay People, Enid the Dowl, Service Group, & Codpiece @ The Cocaine at Live Jazz

That line-up at The Troubadour is more than solid, but I’ve meaning to see The Henry Clay People for something much akin to forever now. (And, geesh, there’s this really good Japanese restaurant right next to The Cocaine…)

That's it. Did I miss anything? Lemme know. (Oh, and you can hear that radio show I did on KXLU 88.9 FM with Octavius here.)

Here are a few bands that I’ve added to the show calendar: The Deadly Syndrome, Cosio, To Live and Die in LA, The Cassettes, Cavil At Rest, Charlie Wadhams and The Harmony Brothers, Ivy Walls, Fairmona, Thao Nguyen, Troika, Anni Rossi, Radars to the Sky, Wires on Fire, The Antarcticans, Sabertooth Tiger, DJ Godzilla, Adem, Big Search, Fools Gold, Bedroom Walls, Xu Xu Fang, Green Heat, In Waves, The Movies, The Monolators, The Western States Motel, The Thermals, Them Hills, Wet Confetti, Moving To France, The Cheat, Sincere Parody, The Curbhounds, Dime Box Band, Good Ol’ Country Railroad, US Mail Band, Gwendolyn, Mike Stinson, and The Natural Disasters. (See the right-hand column for dates and venues.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mini-Interview: Yes Me To Death

Local indie rock act Yes Me To Death are a band I'd enjoying seeing play at Spaceland a few times and really wanted to hear more of, but then they just kinda disappeared for awhile...

Whenever I'd bump into singer/guitarist Melanie Clinch out, I'd bug her to find out when they were playing next and they finally started again recently. So, I bugged her once more, this time about what they're doing next.

Hi, Mel. You've been doing a weekly residency at The Scene in Glendale this month. How's that been going?

We’ve had a great time at The Scene this month. It was a gradual way to readjust to playing shows. This Sunday is the last one and there will be five bands, dj's, go-go dancers, artwork, a pot luck BBQ, and a going-away party for our friend who is moving to NY.

It's sort of like the carnival without cotton candy or a freak show.

You haven't played for awhile. What was the reason for the time off?

We took time off to regroup after line-up changes. We’re now a three-piece. The current members are: Lauren on bass, Ron on drums, and I still play guitar -- and we all sing, um... sometimes.

Did you still work on new material during that time?


How did the band start out in the first place? How long have you been playing?

The band started accidentally, it certainly was not planned. Originally, it was Caitlin, Geoff, and I. We didn't even have a drummer… It was kinda chaotic, everything was exciting and confusing at the same time.

Initially, we wanted to write songs that one might expect to hear in a horror movie. That all happened about three years ago. Time sure does fly...

If I was lame and asked you who your influences were, would you tell me?

Joe, you will never be lame. Our influences are tight rope walkers, jugglers, lion tamers, and clowns.

What's the story behind the band's name?

Let’s see. You want to know the story behind the name. Okay... It's the title of a dangerous tumbling routine which was performed by two acrobats from Brazil, Pedro and Lucas. They moved to America at the beginning of the 20th century and dazzled audiences with their creative gymnastic feats.

Do you have an EP out or are you working on one?

We have an old EP but those songs have sort of been retired. We’re currently recording with Manny at Wetanddry Studios; the new tunes should be finished in April or May.

What's next for you?

I guess the future is next... We just want to play shows and write songs. That is, unless we run off and join the circus.

Last question: What other LA bands are you liking right now?

Here are a handful of LA bands that we like right now: Darker My Love, Division Day, 400 Blows, Great Northern, Hello Astronaut Goodbye Television, Kissing Cousins, LYRA, Silversun Pickups, Strangers Smile, and The Switch.

That's all. Thanks for your time. See you guys on Sunday.

Yes Me To Death are playing at The Scene this Sunday afternoon at 4:00 with LYRA, The Color Turning, Kissing Cousins, and The Front.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Band of the Week: The Battle of Land and Sea

Sure. It’s cool when songs grow on you, but it’s even better when they’re immediately likeable. The Battle of Land and Sea, whose music is lightly reminiscent of a less heroin-y Mazzy Star, have at least a few tracks like that.

My friend JR says that the singer “sounds like a siren exiled to the land for love of a lighthouse keeper.” I don’t know if I completely agree, but you definitely find yourself thinking of lonesome sea-cliffs, ocean swells, and other nautically-themed fare when you hear their song Saltwater Queen. And then you can imagine her and said lighthouse keeper experiencing an uncomfortable break-up while listening to their starkly pretty cover of Harden My Heart.

As the band explains on their myspace page, their recent EP "is a self release with hand-sewn sleeves and hand-drawn artwork. very DIY with love and crafty vibes. we holed up in a home studio for a few weeks late last summer with Jacob Golden tweaking knobs, bottles of wine and doing our best of recreating an old jazz club atmosphere. calling out all the old ghosts from past recordings on beautifully warbled vinyl and paying them respect."

You can find The Battle of Land and Sea EP here and see them play out at Tangier’s here in LA this Sunday night at 7:00.

- Saltwater Queen MP3 (You Send It Link)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Video Free Silver Lake: The Western States Motel

I haven't covered The Western States Motel in forever, so was looking around for any live footage I could find for them because they're really one of my favorite bands here in LA.

I couldn't find any and they don't have any videos yet, but I did come across this clip from, um, The O.C. with their song The New E Blues in the back.

Last I heard from my friend Jay, he was working at Fox, getting songs for their shows. I've been meaning to ask him if he had something to do with either this or the two tracks from Sea Wolf in the recent episode of my new guilty pleasure show Dirt.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Tuesday Show Low Down ("You Don't Need To Invade Paris In Order To Stop By For A Drink.")

I think I'm required by law to start pushing our Let's Independent! event at Boardner's next week really furiously right now... But since all three bands are great and we get an extremely nice-plus-fun crowd, it luckily doesn't leave me feeling like any kind of schill.

Suffice to say, go here listen to music from Foreign Born, The Hectors, and Molecules, if you've got a sec. And please try to make it out that night. We'd love to have you attend.

And remember: Supporting local music is a vote for freedom.

Here’s what the rest of this week is looking like:

- The Minor Canon album release event @ Sea Level Records (6:30)
- Ferraby Lionheart & Friends @ Tangiers
- The Bentleys, Teaneck, Tremellow, & Great Glass Elevator @ The Troubadour
- The Black Pine & In Waves @ The Silver Lake Lounge

Yeah, I’d really recommend going to The Minor Canon release event at Sea Level at 6:30 and then you can’t go wrong at any of the other shows going on tonight.

- Idyllists @ Club Moscow at Boardner’s of Hollywood
- Cold War Kids, The Delta Spirit, & Tokyo Police Club @ The El Rey (Sold-out)
- Gomez @ The Wiltern
- The Procession, The Breakups, & Astra Heights @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Grizzly Bear & Foreign Born @ The Troubadour

The Cold War Kids show is sold-out, but Grizzly Bear and Foreign Born should be great.

- The Prix, Kind Hearts & Coronets, & The Diggs @ Safari Sams
- Cold War Kids @ The Troubadour (Sold-out)

Again, Cold War Kids are sold-out -- but you can see bands like The Prix and Kind Hearts & Coronets at the tribute to The Kinks, The Byrds, and Love at Safari Sam's, instead.

- The Good Listeners & Charlie Wadhams @ Tangier
- Afternoons @ El Cid

Afternoons is a new project band by Steven Scott, Brian Canning, and Brent Turner from Irving with Brian (Earlimart) Thornell and Tom (I Heart Huckabees) Biller.

I think this is the first time they’re playing out, so it would be pretty stupid not to go unless you’re deathly ill or something.

- Oh No! Oh My!, The Deadly Syndrome, & Tandemoro @ The Echo

I haven't really heard Oh No! Oh My!, but I really like both The Deadly Syndrome and Tandemoro.

- Yes Me To Death, The Front, & Kissing Cousins @ The Scene
- The Spires @ Eagle Rock Bowling & Drinking Club @ All-Star Lanes
- The Battle of Land & Sea @ Tangier

This is your last chance to see Yes Me To Death at their residency at The Scene in Glendale… It starts at 4, so you’d still have time to catch fantastic Ventura pop act The Spires at All-Star Lanes or the sleepy, folky, and good Battle of Land and Sea at Tangiers.

That's it. Did I miss anything? Lemme know.

Here are a few bands that I’ve added to the show calendar: Josh Ritter, The Submarines, Alexi Murdoch, Midnight Movies, The One AM Radio, The Front, Kissing Cousins, The Pity Party, Scissors for Lefty, The Youngs, Skyscraper Foundation, Golden Arms, The Black Pine, Sean Lennon, The Wires On Fire, Xu Xu Fang, LSD and The Search For God, Berko’s, Buffalo Roam, Castle Door, Earl Greyhound, Art Brut, Brightblack Morning Light, The Horrors, And A Few To Break, Corazon County, The Minor Canon, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Wait Think Fast, The Switch, The World Record, Coco B's, Media Orphan, The Henry Clay People, Downtown/Union, Unbusted, Codpiece, and needle. (See the right-hand column for dates and venues.)

New Releases Tuesday - 2/20

Lots of love this week from Chicago labels...

BobyconnkingNew releases from a couple of long-time Thrill Jockey staples hit store shelves today. Futuristic robo-rockers Trans Am are back at it with their 8th(!) full-length record, Sex Change, and Chicago's #1 glam rocker, Bobby Conn, is back with his latest opus titled King for a Day. Also, on Chicago's Drag City, The High Llamas, drop their latest release today titled Can Cladders.

Download: Trans Am - "North East Rising Sun"

Watch: Bobby Conn - "King for a Day"

Here's the full run-down for the week...

Aqueduct - Or Give Me Death
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
Calla - Strength In Numbers
Bobby Conn - King For A Day
Jill Cunniff (of Luscious Jackson fame) - City Beach
Dolorean - You Can't Win
Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
Field Music - Tones Of Town (Domestic Release)
The Frames - The Cost (Domestic Release)
High Llamas - Can Cladder
k-os - Atlantis: Hymns For Disco (Domestic Release)
Pop Levi - The Return To Form Black Majick Party
Minus the Bear - Interpretaciones Del Oso (remix album)
PG Six - Slightly Sorry
Richard Swift - Dressed Up For The Let Down
Trans Am - Sex Change

Monday, February 19, 2007

Quickie Post About Tonight

I'm home sick with a fever and am dealing with all sorts of stupid technical difficulties trying to update the site today, so just want to say real quick...

If you can, you really ought to either go see Division Day, Bedroom Walls, Tigers Can Bite You, and Twilight Sleep at Spaceland or last week's Band of the Week pick The Airborne Toxic Event at The Viper Room.

Both are free and both should be amazingly fun.

- Mini-Interview: Division Day

- Mini-Interview: Bedroom Walls

- Mini-Interview: The Airborne Toxic Event

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mini-Interview: The Minor Canon

Your first impression of The Minor Canon's new self-released album No Good Deed Goes Unpunished will likely be that it's the perfect music to listen to on a lazy, slow-to-rise Sunday morning -- but give it a few days and you'll realize that its melancholy pop sound has successfully invaded the rest of your week, as well...

It's solid stuff, songs made by a guy who comes across like his heart is literally on the line, and there's not a single bad or mediocre track to be found on the whole cd. It's so good that we were galled that we hadn't really covered the LA band before on the site and set out to rectify that asap.

Here's how our conversation with singer/songwriter Paul Larson went.

Congratulations on the release of the new album, Paul. I've been enjoying it a lot. What was your experience recording it?

Thanks! Well you know, strikes and gutters. We had to, sort of, claw our way through this record. Recording in different studios on the cheap, at my apartment in Silver Lake, and at a high school auditorium in Burbank. We were trying to spend money as wisely as possible.

We got a little help from our friends here and there, which made the whole process easier and much more fun.

I believe I read elsewhere that you'd written many of these songs years ago. Why wait to record them until now?

Yes, the LA Times article by Kevin Bronson. As I told Kevin, some of the songs on the record were written years ago while I was playing in other bands.

None of which I felt were appropriate stylistically for these songs. It was just me with my acoustic guitar wishing it could sound like Highway 61, but I was playing in indie rock bands opening up for Modest Mouse, Les Savy Fav, and bands like that. I just feel like now is the right time.

I understand you started the band as a solo project. How did it come together?

I had demoed a few songs, where I played, recorded, and produced everything. I didn’t really like the way it came out. I almost gave up on the project.

Then my friend Ian MacKinnon (Strictly Ballroom drummer and current manager of The Minor Canon) and I were sitting in my home studio listening to a Stax box set, when we sort of had a moment... I said to him, “I want to play in a band that sounds like this.” And he said ,“Then do it.”

From there I joined forces with, my childhood friend/piano/Hammond organ player, Ryan Blake and began working on the songs. Things have progressed and morphed since then but the idea’s the same.

We began auditioning people and we went through quite a few different players, but now I think we have a solid core. We have a lot of fun playing together and I’m extremely excited about the bands future. I made it a point to play only acoustic guitar on this record, but I'm itching to pick up an electric again.

Most of the guys in the band can play other instruments as well. The future is bright.

You guys have a very unique sound for an act in the LA music scene. How did you arrive at it?

Some of our influences are right there tapping you on the shoulder, but we aren’t exactly trying to sound like anyone else. As for the rest of the LA music scene, it’s a big pond. I think there’s room for us. Hopefully, people like where we are coming from.

What do you think the best and worst parts of being in a band here in LA are?

The best part is the amount of amazingly talented people in the area. So many resources.

The worst part…the amount of amazingly talented people in the area. Fuck. Everyone you meet is in a band. But seriously, I've found the LA crowd is a little bit harder to please than most, and it keeps you honest and humble. If you are worth watching, than people will watch.

So what's the name of the band from? I've found references online to a children's story by a 19th century writer and the dictionary says, "one who has been admitted to a chapter, but has not yet received a prebend." What's the significance?

I took it, in part, from a children’s book by frank Stockton called the griffin and the minor canon. Maurice Sendak did the illustrations and I have always been drawn to his stuff. I like that there’s room for different interpretations for one simple name.

What's next for you?

Our record release event next week on Tuesday, February 20th at Sea Level Records at 6:30pm. An April residency at Spaceland. (We are doing 5 different cover songs, for 5 Mondays.) Planning a west coast tour. And lots of new songs…

Last question: Who are you listening to these days?

New Dntel record, Tapes n Tapes, Wolf Parade, Mystic Chords of Memory & Nobody(the tree colored see record), The Dying Californian, The Little Ones... I'm waiting for new Arcade Fire and All Rmiles records to come out. Throw in some Bob Dylan, Otis, Supremes, James Carr, Neil Young, Wire, Pavement, Slint, and other old reliables

That's it. Thanks very much for your time.

RELATED LINKS: - It Never Was MP3 (You Send It link - Expires in one week)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Band of the Week: The Airborne Toxic Event

A talented singer can sell the most mediocre lyrics, but when you’ve got a lead who’s a major Don Delilo fan (the band’s name comes from the book White Noise), you can expect that he’s going to work a little harder at the writing than most.

Take The Airborne Toxic Event's song Wishing Well, with its spiraling refrains: And the walls spin… And you’re paper thin… From the haze of the smoke and the mescaline... The threat of your brow under unmade sheets…In your ear with the noise from darkest streets … We ran far and wide, you screamed you cried, you thought that suicide was an alibi… But you were always a mess, you were always aloof… Yeah, it’s awful, I guess, but it’s the awful truth.

Back last October, the guy who penned and sang that, Mikel Jollett, wrote to ask me to check out the band's music online and invited me to catch their show at The Echo with Tigers Can Bite You… And I ended up very glad that he did because I liked what I heard immediately – not only Wishing Well, but the also affable and smart rock songs Does This Mean You’re Moving On? and The Girls In Their Summer Dresses – and really enjoyed their live performance the next night.

Since then, The Airborne Toxic Event’s local popularity has been snowballing, most recently with a sold-out show with similarly rising stars The Deadly Syndrome at The Echo, which LA Times music columnist Kevin Bronson called “poetry you could dance to” and said “That sound you heard Friday night in Echo Park was a band breaking out.”

Their next show here in LA is on Monday, the 19th at The Viper Room… and, yeah, you ought to go.

- Mini-Interview: The Airborne Toxic Event
- Wishing Well MP3 (YouSendIt Link – expires in one week)
- Mini-Interview: The Deadly Syndrome

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Video Free Silver Lake: Andrew Bird

Sometimes I worry that people think I only listen to music from bands from LA... Not true. I mean, I have that album from quirky/amazingly talented singer-songwriter Andrew Bird and he's from, like, somewhere east of here, right?

Here's some great footage of him playing one of his best songs, Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left, at last year's Bonnaroo ... and I was going to post a crazy clip of him appearing on a kid's TV show as a character called Dr Strings, but that appears to have been taken down. Booo.

If you, like me, have been hoping to catch him at a summer music festival instead of, say, shelling out $25 to see him at Largo, take heart. Because he's playing at the upcoming Coachella. Oh, tickets are sold out for every day but Friday? Damn...

Well, his new album is out next month, at least.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Releases Tuesday - 2/13

Really Eternalsheavyintl_1 slow release schedule this week, undoubtedly due to the Valentine's holiday and the fact that the record industry can coast through this week thanks to the post-Grammy sales surge of the year's past releases.

So here they are, all 3 records of interest out this week (click on each for more info):

1. The Eternals - Heavy International

2. Times New Viking - Present The Paisley Reich

3. Lucinda Williams - West

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Monday Show Lowdown (Or “No Moral To The Story. Just A Buncha Stuff That Happened.”)

Last Friday night, Thailand and Radars to the Sky celebrated album and EP self-releases, respectively, at El Cid and were really great. And Signal Hill played an EP release show at Pehrspace on Saturday that completely and, like, utterly blew me away…

If you get a chance to see any of these acts live in the future, do it. Now, let’s take a look at how this week's shows are shaping up.

- Simon Dawes, The Abe Lincoln Story, Common Hours, & Strangers Smile @ The Echo (Free)
- Eastern Conference Champions @ The Silver Lake Lounge (Free)
- Rolling Blackouts @ The Viper Room
- Division Day, Great Northern, The Happy Hollows, & Peter Walker @ Spaceland (Free)

I was really glad to see that The Happy Hollows’ appearance at Spaceland was pushed back to this week, since I had to miss the show last Monday. I don’t know Peter Walker’s music too well, but Division Day and Great Northern are two of my favorite bands in LA.

So, three excellent bands playing at one place for free? Man, we’re pretty spoiled living here…

- The Lights From Here & Half Mantis Group @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Luke Paquin @ Tangiers
- Lo-Fi Sugar @ The Lava Lounge
- Totally Radd! & Anavan @ Cinespace

I’m a big fan of local post rock act The Lights From Here… If you like Austin’s Explosions in the Sky, you will be, too.

- Paleo @ The Scene
- Astra Heights & The Parson Redheads @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Idyllists @ Club Moscow at Boardner’s of Hollywood

I don’t know any of these acts too well. Some of the other blogs speak really well of The Parson Redheads.

- Rob Crow of Pinback @ The Troubadour
- Josh Haden, A Minor Canon, The Chapin Sisters, & The Pity Party @ The Echo
- The Octopus Project @ The Knitting Factory
- Imarobot & The Grand Marquee @ The Roxy
- The Good Listeners, Mezzanine Owls, Cavil At Rest, & Tandemoro @ The Scene (Glendale)

I’m torn between seeing Mez Owls and Tandemoro out at The Scene and braving The Knitting Factory to see Austin’s The Octopus Project, who are pretty zany and rad. I also like the new album by The Minor Canon a lot, too.

- The Autumn Defense @ Spaceland

Our counterparts at Radio Free Chicago seem to like the retro pop sound of The Autumn Defense.

- Family Tree Analog, The Studio Fix & The Loose Ties @ Zamakibo
- Sparta, The Movies, & The Press Fire @ The Echo
- The Happy Hollows, Rademacher, & Chase Frank @ Que Sera (Long Beach)
- Signal Hill, Skyscraper Foundation, & Elba @ The Prospector (Long Beach)
- Bennystrange @ The Verity Room (Canoga Park)
- Hearts of Palm UK @ Pehrspace
- Camera Obscura & Portastic @ The El Rey

Those shows in Long Beach both sound pretty great and I like what I’ve heard from Hearts of Palm UK… (They remind me of Portland's The Blow.) But my friend Jed swears by Camera Obscura.

- Adeline, The Davin Givhan Band, El Haru Kuroi, and The Natural Disasters @ The Live From Little Tokyo record release show @ All-Star Lanes
- Yes Me To Death @ The Scene

The event at All-Star Lanes is a record release show for a cd called Live From Little Tokyo, which features songs from local acts like The Happy Hollows, The Natural Disasters, The Devils Romantics, and more. The Yes Me To Death residency at The Scene is also worth checking out.

That’s all I got. Did I miss anything? Please write me, if so.

By the way, it looks like Sea Wolf had to pull out of playing the Division Day residency show at Spaceland on Monday, Feb 26… Incidentally, that’s the same night that The Movies, The Happy Hollows, Tigers Can Bite You, and Rademacher play The Viper Room. I can’t say enough good things about all four bands. That should be an incredibly fun time.

Here are a few bands that I’ve added to the show calendar: Voxtrot, Bedroom Walls, Apples In Stereo, Great Northern, El Perro Del Mar, The Happy Hollows, The Pity Party, Rademacher, Hearts of Palm UK, Final Fantasy, Essex Green, The Like, Skyscraper Foundation, Elba, Sondre Lerche, Signal Hill,, Kelly Stoltz, Panther Attack, Soundtrack Symphony, Beware of Safety, The Distants, Midway, Calla, The Mulhollands, The Sirens, Snow Patrol, Califone, Castaneda, The Airborne Toxic Event, Death To Anders, Youth Group, Ghostland Observatory, Matmos, Wet Confetti, The Prix, Kind Hearts & Coronets, The Diggs, Bennystrange, Au Revoir Simone, Ratatat, Razorlight, and Panther. (See the right-hand column for dates and venues.)

- Mini-Interview: Division Day
- Mini-Interview: Great Northern
- Mini-Interview: The Octopus Project
- Mini-Interview: Rademacher
- Mini-Interview: The Movies

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mini-Interview: Signal Hill

Take warning: Local shoegaze all-stars Signal Hill are having a cd release event for their recent EP at Pehrspace with Timonium and Idyllists this Saturday.

We haven't covered the band and their haunty/pretty music quite nearly enough, so thought we'd ask them a volley of questions about what they do (so well) and why.

Hey, guys. How are things? How's your day been today?

Dave: Doing great, Joe. Thanks for asking! Hope things are well with you also.

So, how did Signal Hill come together? How did you meet and begin playing?

Dave: Brian posted a listing on Craigslist, which I replied to. He knew Rishi (guitar) from playing together before, and I knew Tim (drummer). We all got together and started playing and writing. We were all on the same page musically, and meshed really well personally.

The important thing to us is that we are all actually friends and hang out (playing Tecmo Bowl, going out, watching The Office, movie night Sundays etc) besides doing the Signal Hill thing.

What bands inspired you guys?

Dave: The Mercury Program, Tristeza, Brian Eno, Mineral, Christie Front Drive, Ida, Slowdive, MBV, and tons of others….

Rishi: Death Cab, Pinback, Tristeza, American Football, The Beatles...

Tim: Everything from American composers like Aaron Copland, to fusion bands ala Chick Corea, to more recent bands like The Bad Plus, Cinematic Orchestra and The Mercury Progam from a drummer's perspective.

Brian: American Football, Six Parts Seven, Pele and Ghost and Vodka for me, at least for a lot of the jazzy riffs on the bass. However for a lot of the climactic driving parts, I would definitely say Mogwai and all those great hardcore bands I use to jam back in the day.

What are you shooting for with your music? (This sort of question always sounds dumb, but you know what I mean.)

Dave: Honestly, we don’t really shoot for anything specific. Our writing process usually works with someone coming with a riff, and everyone starts playing and seeing how it feels.

If everyone backs the melodies and overall vibe, we will keep with it. At the same time, if anyone is not pleased, we tend to move on.

Tim: To have a reason to drink whiskey while on a stage with instruments in our hands.

Congratulations on the release of your EP. What was the recording process like?

Dave: Thank you! Well we initially started in a studio (which coincidently was in Signal Hill!) to record drums only. We also recorded some raw tracks of bass, and guitars.

From there we had our friend Jeff Lewis come re-record guitars at our rehearsal space (Tim and Brian’s house) and spent more time doing overdubs, keyboards, mixing on our own.

It was a good process. Its nice when you have the time to make the songs sound how you want them without having to spend a great deal of money in the studio! However it tends to take longer cause its easy to procrastinate.

Tim: It was like a mini-vacation down in the town which is our namesake, ironically, whoda known? Much like any vacation you may have taken, complete with piano tuning oscillators, aux send/return knobs, and ridden with faders. Almost as many faders as we had burritos.

You guys seem to be part of a pretty tight-knit shoe gaze/post rock community here in LA. Can you tell me a little about it?

Brian: Breaking into the scene is pretty tough and I’d honestly say that we are lucky to know some great bands that share and experience some of the same struggles as us.

The worst thing you can do is see it as a competition between your band and others. I think everyone benefits when we work together, both bands and venues, to put on nights of fun times!

Dave: We feel very fortunate. When we first started, we didn’t really know any of the other LA instrumental/post-rock acts. There are some really great bands in the LA area and some really nice venue’s that support acts like ours.’

Some of our favorite local bands would be our good friends Beware of Safety, The Lights From Here, Third Uncle, Timonium, Soundtrack Symphony (from Ventura), Half-Mantis Group, Skyscraper Frontier, and plenty others!

Some of our favorite venue’s would be The Cocaine downtown and Pehrspace in Echo Park. Theres a lot of great venue’s here, but these fine places have the most down to earth and band friendly atmospheres. There’s something awesome about post show dance parties at Pehrspace. (Adam, I got pics on my phone to prove it!)

Tim: When I was hiking past the rock, I tripped and my shoe fell down into a ravine. As I was gazing into the depths below I fell into a dreamstate where I was abducted by a group of half-mantises claiming to be related to my third uncle, who by the end of tonight will have reminded me to beware of safety while hiking away from the lights from here. I think that evening episode was brought on by a scene filled with cocaine and pehrs, and maybe a plush glass of whiskey on the rocks set to a symphonic soundtrack.

What's next for you? Any plans to tour? Or more do recordings?

Dave: We are actually working on new material for a new ep! We have a majority of the tracks completed already. We hope to get that recorded soon!

As far as touring, not any full fledge tours at the moment, but we do have a handful of shows coming up in LA, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Phoenix. Pretty much stuff we can do over a weekend.

Last question: Who are you listening to these days?

Dave: Beware of Safety, Gregor Samsa, Brian Eno, and I'm eagerly anticipating the new Mercury Program album!

Brian: The One AM Radio, Six Parts Seven, and Owen.

Tim: The Bad Plus, the Donnie Darko soundtrack, The Cinematic Orchestra, A Silver Mt. Zion, and any jazz.

Rishi: Metal Hearts, Message to Bears, The One AM Radio, and The Buena Vista Social Club.

That's it! Thanks a lot for your time, guys. See on at the show on Saturday night.

- Celadon MP3 (YouSendIt link)

Band of the Week: Frankel

Sometimes it takes a little bit for music to really click. That was the case for me with LA musician Michael Orendy's band Frankel... though it didn't really take too long.

I'd picked up his Chatterbox EP at Sea Level and was listening to it while driving to San Francisco a few weeks ago for work. I didn't have to drive, but it looked like my fiancee and I had just split, so I figured a road trip was in order...

I wasn't really all there so wasn't completely concentrating on the cd until the final track All Satellites came on. It started out slow and pretty and stripped down, but the guitars kicked in about halfway through and forced me to pay attention to just how good it sounded.

I replayed the song a few more times... Then began the EP over again and then found myself listening repeatedly to earlier tracks like the Grandaddy-esque Antidote and charmingly plaintive Don't Leave... And I've been hooked on its smarty pop goodness ever since.

You can track down the EP at Sea Level or online at Three Ring Records -- it's worth picking up -- and hear a few songs from his forthcoming album on his myspace page.

- Don't Leave Me MP3 (You Send It Link)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Video Free Silver Lake: Sea Wolf

Yeah, I know I posted some live concert footage of Sea Wolf performing at The Troubadour just a few weeks ago, but it looks like they've gone and made a video for their song You're A Wolf.

I don't have a crush on lead singer Alex Church, honest, I just like his music a lot. I may be in the minority there though... between the constant comments I hear from female friends at shows about him being an "indie rock dreamboat" and the fact that someone recently visited our site by running a Google search on the terms "Alex Church girlfriend" and "Alex Church wife." (No shit.)

Sea Wolf perform next at Spaceland on Monday, February 26th as part of Division Day's free residency there, and then open for Clinic at The Troubadour on March 2.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Don't Miss Thailand on Friday Night!

So, Thailand's self-released album Motorcade has finally come out. I just got back from a week in Chicago and I was happy to see that after a year of loving their demo tracks, the final cd was waiting for me when I got home... And even happier to confirm that it's damn good.

I've somehow missed mentioning that they're playing what I guess is a cd release event this Friday night at El Cid with Radars to the Sky and The Hard to Get, so wanted to do a special post about it. If you can't make that show (though you ought to try), you can order the cd off their myspace page.

- Mini-Interview: Thailand

New Releases Tuesday - 2/6

PbandjWhat? I thought this record came out like 5 months ago...just kidding, but t does feel that way because PB & J's catchy as hell song "Young Folks" has been getting massive airplay for months and the album itself showed up on numerous people's Best of 2006 lists. Of course, Writer's Block has been available via import for a while, but it still seems a bit odd that it's only now just reaching domestic shelves.

Download: Peter Bjorn & John - "Young Folks"

Of course, there's also plenty of other new albums out today that haven't been drilled in your head yet, check out the full list below:


Aereogramme - My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go
Apostle Of Hustle - National Anthem Of Nowhere
Apples in Stereo - New Magnetic Wonder
Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
Deerhunter - Cryptograms
Ricky Lee Jones - Sermon on Exposition Boulevard
Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly Angry Mob
Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch
Lonely, Dear - Lonely, Noir
Eleni Mandell - Miracle of Five
Yoko Ono - Yes, I'm a Witch
Sarah Shannon - City Morning Song
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter - Like, Love, Lust & The Open Halls Of The Soul

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Monday Show Lowdown (Or "Like An Enigma Wrapped In Mystery Wrapped In Bacon”)

So, there’s been the sound of crickets going on at this site for a few days because I had to take off out of town to take care of my dad. He had heart surgery last week and is such a bionic superstar that he’s already up and around and running around, so I’m heading back to LA pretty soon.

Here’s a look at what this week’s concert line-up looks like:

- In Waves, Foreign Born, & Black Palms @ The Viper Room
- Paul Weller @ The Avalon
- Simon Dawes, Richard Strange, & The Morning Benders @ The Echo (Free)
- The Obsolete Heart @ The Lava Lounge
- Eastern Conference Champions, Castledoor, Summer Darling, & Great Glass Elevator @ The Silver Lake Lounge (Free)
- Division Day, The Movies, The Happy Hollows, & Tandemoro @ Spaceland (Free)

Foreign Born is excellent live and I’ve been meaning to see In Waves for awhile now, but the line-up at Spaceland on Monday is absolutely stellar and free. I really like all four bands … Division Day, The Movies, The Happy Hollows, and Tandemoro … Go early and stay late. Wish I could make either or both.

- Wired All Wrong & The Colour @ Cinespace
- In Waves, Fools Gold, Asher, & Ht Heartache @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- The 88 @ The Key Club
- Arthur Lee tribute w/ Kind Hearts & Coronets, The Lava Children, Bodies of Water, & The Shakes @ The Echo

That Arthur Lee tribute at The Echo sounds pretty dam interesting and I like what I’ve heard from The Lava Children on teh Interweb.

- Idyllists @ Club Moscow at Boardner’s of Hollywood
- Eleni Mandell, Ferraby Lionheart, & Charlie Windham @ The Echo
- These Orphaned Eyes & The Breakups @ The Derby
- Oliver Future @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- The Henry Clay People, Sincere Parody, I Make This Sound, & The Breakups @ The Derby

Tough call… I’ve been meaning to see both Ferraby Lionheart and The Henry Clay People for awhile now.

- Warfield @ The Cat Club (Free)
- Hopewell, The Youngs, & Hello Mello @ The Silverlake Lounge

Some of our readers have been talking up Hopewell lately, but I haven’t heard them yet.

- Thailand, Radars to the Sky, & The Hard To Get @ El Cid
- Castaneda @ Spaceland
- Timonium, Maya Shore, & Life Underwater @ Pehrspace
- Miho Hatori @ The Troubadour
- Casxio & The Prix @ The Lava Lounge -- FINAL NIGHT BEFORE CLOSING!
- Xu Xu Fang, The Softlightes, & Lenka Kripac (Decoder Ring) @ Tangier
- The Autumns @ The Echo

I keep hearing good stuff about Xu Xu Fang… Particularly from Lawyer Jed. But Thailand is playing a cd release show at El Cid and that's really not to be missed.

And making the night even tougher... It's the final night of The Lava Lounge and Casxio and The Prix are helping send it away with style.

- Signal Hill cd release party w/ Timonium, Idyllists, & Rajiv Patel @ Pehrspace
- The Ettes @ The Scene (Glendale)

Damn, damn, damn… I really like garage rock outfit The Ettes and want to see Signal Hill’s shoe-gazey show, too. Looks like it’s going to require some juggling to catch everything.

- The Obsolete Heart @ Bar 107
- One Trick Pony CD release event w/ Sarah Negahdari (from The Happy Hollows) @ Tangier
- Yes Me To Death @ The Scene
- The Sharp Ease & The Moon Upstairs @ The Echo
- Family Tree Analog @ The Airliner

I haven’t seen Yes Me To Death perform for, like, ever or something. Good to see them playing out again and at a weekly residency at that. And then there's also One Trick Pony's cd release event at Tangier and Sarah Negahdari from The Happy Hollows is playing some of her solo stuff ... which I think involves considerably less jumping around.

Anyway, that’s just what I’m looking at for the week. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Here are a few bands that I’ve added to the show calendar: Nightfur, The Karabal Nightlife, Rocking Horse People, The Movies, The Press Fire, The Happy Hollows, Rademacher, Chase Frank, Adeline, The Davin Givhan Band, El Haru Kuroi, and The Natural Disasters. (See the right-hand column for dates and venues.)